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Violence in Kyiv mars weekend of pro-Europe rallies

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Violence in Kyiv mars weekend of pro-Europe rallies


A weekend of mass protests in Ukraine’s capital degenerated into running battles and clashes with police on Sunday.

A massive 350,000 people had turned out to protest at President Viktor Yanukovich’s U-turn away from a trade pact with the EU.

At one point some of them apparently stormed presidential buildings…. but heavyweight boxer turned-opposition-politician Vitali Klitchko claimed that had been an orchestrated move by the authorities to justify a crackdown.

“Riot police are doing everything to provoke people. I was there, talking to young guys. I was asking them – please, don’t do anything to provoke the bloodshed. The government is looking for an excuse to use special police units It is the president who must be held responsible for everything that is going on in the country right now. He must resign,” said the UDAR opposition leader Vitali Klitchko.

The protesters are not giving up. Hundreds have prepared tents which they’ve set up in Independence Square refusing to budge.

Opposition leaders are calling for all Ukrainians to support a national strike.

Our correspondent in Kyiv Maria Korenyuk said:

“What happened in Kyiv on Sunday is already being described as another ‘Revolution’.
The opposition wants more Ukrainians to come to Independence Square to occupy it. From Monday morning they plan to bring the work of the government to a standstill.”

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